Can Harboring Unforgiveness Be A Good Thing?

Apr 04

Can Harboring Unforgiveness Be A Good Thing?

I read an article in Sports Illustrated a few months back about Michael Jordan’s coach in high school who supposedly cut him from the basketball team. I learned from the article that Michael Jordan basically kept a chip on his shoulder about the whole ordeal, resenting his coach and the player who beat him out.

Of course, I’d say that harboring such destructive feelings is wrong and should be resolved for the health of the individual holding in those negative feelings. Yet the argument can be made that the reason why Michael Jordan was so good at his sport is because he kept those feelings at the forefront of his mind, giving him that extra edge to out-perform everyone, and achieving more than he would have if he had let it go.

Is it fair to say that bitterness actually helped Michael Jordan become a better player?

I’ve heard it said before that the great geniuses/successes in life are anything but balanced on the inside. While the rest of us are trying to attain some level of inner nirvana, it seems that many great writers, thinkers, musicians, actors–apparently even athletes, actually feed on imbalance, hurt, rejection, pain, and don’t worry about healing.

Do you think this is unhealthy? Yet how is it that such great books, poetry, music, performances come seemingly from such unhealthiness? Would Michael Jordan have been the greatest basketball player of all time (IMO) if he had handled his feelings of rejection in a healthy manner?

One comment

  1. I apologize if this is a double-post. I typed this a few moments ago and it said it submitted, but it’s not there.

    Nothing below is a judgment on Jordan because I don’t know his true motivations, drives, and the ins and outs of his situation.

    Having a chip on your shoulder and/or harboring unforgiveness in order to succeed can be very effective at making a person a success by worldly measures. If that is what drives a person, though, it will eventually destroy him or her spiritually. In the choice between God and him or God and her, that person ultimately chooses the latter.

    I saw this all more a judgment on myself than anyone else. I am very prone to this sort of sin. While this probably describes just about everyone, it doesn’t make the danger to my soul less precarious. Every attempt at success of any kind for the wrong reasons takes me one more step further from God. What can a man give in exchange for his soul?

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